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Millennials say they have “no friends”


the staff of the Ridgewood blog

Ridgewood NJ according to ,22% of millennials say they have “no friends”, 25% say they don’t even have acquaintances. 30% feel lonely. This is the highest percentage of all the generations surveyed.

Members of the millennial generation are ages 23 to 38. These ought to be prime years of careers taking off and starting families, before joints really begin to ache. Yet as a recent poll and some corresponding research indicate, there’s something missing for many in this generation: companionship.

Continue reading Millennials say they have “no friends”
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Members of the Fordham University College Republicans were asked to leave an on-campus coffee shop because their MAGA hats violated the “safe space policy.”

maga hats

Photo credit: Students for Trump

December 11,2017

by Kassy Dillon


A glowing profile in The Fordham Ram declares that the coffee house is the only on-campus club “open to all.” Except if you are a Republican that supports Trump. Tuition at Fordham is close to $70,000/year.

In a video obtained by Campus Reform, the president of Rodrigue’s Coffee House, a coffee shop run by a student club, is seen telling the College Republicans they have five minutes to get out of the coffee shop.

“This is a community standard—you are wearing hats that completely violate safe space policy. You have to take it off or you have to go.”
“I am protecting my customers,” the president said. “We are your customers, we bought something,” a CR member replied.
“I don’t want people like you supporting this club… no one here wants people like you supporting our club,” the president retorted. “I am giving you five minutes.”
One of the students then asked the president to explain what she thinks the MAGA hat stands for, to which she replied, shouting: “Fascism, Nazis! You have three minutes.”

During the confrontation, the president presented the College Republicans with a flyer outlining the shop’s “Safer Space Policy.”

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Reader says parents wanting to give their children everything, forgot to give them the tools of life that mattered


The bottom line is that parents and teachers are giving so much safe space that there is no thinking on the part of the student as they mature to find their way through difficulties and problems. Parents solve the child’s problems immediately and at every turn which sets them up when they are young adults for FAILURE since they have no clue how to interact to a amicable conclusion. Now the idea is just to call your opposing individual names and label them to intimidate or cry for a safe space. Those parents who have taught their children the skills to interact, accept success in a humble manner and accept failure and the consequences as a growth tool to tackle the problem differently in the future….are the ones that will succeed – you know them when you see them. These are the young adults that companies WANT to hire, the others will stumble and fall many times before figuring it out, but it didn’t have to be that way….their parents wanting to give them everything, forgot to give them the tools of life that mattered. Pity.

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 Dizzying phenomenon of the swastika shaped fidget spinner

 Antisemitic graffiti targets WZO in Ukraine


AUGUST 6, 2017 09:01

Before being used by Hitler’s Nazi regime, swastikas were commonly known as an ancient sign used by Hindus and Buddhists carrying positive associations such as auspiciousness and good fortune.

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Young adults today: No school, no job, living at home with mom and dad


By Dino Flammia May 29, 2017 10:00 PM

It’s no secret that young adults today are experiencing milestones — purchasing a home, getting married, having a child — later in life compared to previous generations.

But a new report from the U.S. Census Bureau digs even deeper and finds a statistic that’s hard to ignore: A quarter of 25-to-34-year-olds still living at home are considered “idle” — meaning they have no job or schooling to attend.

More than 2 million older millennials fall in this category nationwide, according to the report. The majority are men and most are aged 25 to 29. About half are white.

“In 2005, the majority of young adults lived independently in their own household, which was the predominant living arrangement in 35 states. A decade later, by 2015, the number of states where the majority of young people lived independently fell to just six,” the report said.

In New Jersey, most young people are not living independently.

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4 Tips For Finding A Career Mentor


February 27,2017

the staff of the Ridgewood blog

Ridgewood NJ, It’s not unusual for careers to get off to wobbly starts as young people, hampered by their lack of experience and contacts, find it difficult to achieve a firm footing.

That’s one reason they should make it a goal to find mentors who could help guide them through the rough patches.

“One of the biggest benefits of having a mentor is that person’s success can act as a catalyst for your belief in yourself,” says Lauren Davenport, CEO and founder of The Symphony Agency (, a marketing and technology firm.

“It’s also a way to expand your network because a mentor can introduce you to people who could help you with your career and who you otherwise might not meet.”

While mentors can be a great asset for young people in their career advancement, don’t expect the mentor to materialize out of nowhere and then do all the heavy lifting, Davenport says. Much of the onus is on the mentee to seek the relationship, cultivate it and make the most of it.

She says a few ways to do that include:

• Don’t be afraid to reach out. A simple LinkedIn search can help you find people who are currently in your dream job. Somehow, they managed to get the very thing you want. How did they pull that off? Send them a short message and tell them your aspirations. Ask if they can spare 30 minutes for you to visit their office and “pick their brains” about how they achieved success.
• Do your homework. After you went to all the trouble to set up that meeting, you don’t want to show up unprepared. Learn all you can about this potential mentor with a Google search. Write down any questions you want to ask. For the meeting, dress like you already have a job with the person’s company and be 10 minutes early, Davenport says.
• Join a networking organization. If reaching out to an individual isn’t in your comfort zone, seek a networking organization that focuses on career growth. Sign up for a MeetUp group taught by someone you admire. “Take notes as the person speaks,” Davenport says. “After the event, you’re also going to need to muster up the courage to introduce yourself. To find a good mentor, in most cases you really are going to need to take the first step.”
• Pay attention to the mentor’s advice. You may not follow through on every suggestion, but you do need to listen to what they have to say. After all, the wisdom and experience they can provide is the whole point of having a mentor. Davenport recalls early in her career joining a networking group and trying to pitch her company to the members without success. She mentioned to her mentor her inability to generate any business. “She told me if I wanted to be taken seriously as a business woman I needed to change my wardrobe,” Davenport says. “I put away the summer dresses I typically wore and bought some tailored jackets and other clothes that helped present a business-professional look.” Soon after, business picked up.

“I still actively seek women who are in my industry and at similar career levels,” Davenport says.

“Sometimes they even work for competitors. We don’t share any company secrets, but we often are experiencing similar struggles, so we swap stories and give each other advice on how to overcome those challenges.”

About Lauren Davenport

Lauren Davenport is chief executive officer at The Symphony Agency ( She founded the company after discovering that businesses were struggling to understand how to implement marketing and technology to reach their full potential in the digital age. Her natural entrepreneurial drive grew the organization from a boutique consulting business into a multi-million dollar agency. She is a contributor for the New York Daily News and has been featured on PBS, ABC Action News, iHeartRadio, AMEX OPEN, and more.

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NJ agency paying millennials to throw parties and discuss transportation


file photo by ArtChick

By David Matthau February 20, 2017 3:49 AM

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The North Jersey Transportation Planning Authority wants you to throw a cocktail party — and they’ll foot the bill!

According to David Behrend, department director of communications and government affairs for the Authority, the Set the Table initiative is one part of a broad public outreach effort to update their long-range transportation plan for 13 counties in Central and North Jersey.

“The idea is to look at how we can better involve younger people who maybe haven’t traditionally been involved in some of these public meetings and this process in the past,” he said.

Behrend said participant hosts who should be between the ages of 18 to 29 will be asked to get together a group of six to eight friends. They’ll get a small stipend, around $100, “to get some pizzas or other foods, however they want to organize their particular event.”

He said each group will be given cards with questions about different subjects like transportation safety, technology and the environment.

“These are the folks who are going to be experiencing and using the transportation network 30 years down the road, so we want to hear their input, we want to see what they have to say.”

Behrend says the Set the Table meetings will help to shape what happens in the future

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America’s kids got more stupid in reading, math and science while Team Obama was in charge


By Todd Starnes

Published February 09, 2017

American school kids became more stupid under the Obama administration, according to rankings released by the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development.

They recently released the results of a worldwide exam administered every three years to 15-year-olds in 72 countries. The exam monitors reading, math and science knowledge.

Based on their findings, the United States saw an 11-point drop in math scores and nearly flat levels for reading and science.

The Land of the Free, Home of the Brave, fell below the OECD average – and failed to crack the top ten in all three categories.

In other words, thanks to the Obama administration’s education policies, kids in the Slovac Republic are more proficient in multiplication.

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Half of young people have so many ’emotional problems’ they cannot focus at school, study finds


by Ella Turner

10 JANUARY 2017 • 2:33PM

Half of young people have so many emotional problems they cannot focus at school, a study has found.

Some 48 per cent of youngsters said that they experienced problems during their school years that prevented them from concentrating on their academic work.

Of these, 46 per cent did not talk to anyone about their problems, mainly because they did not want other people to know that they were struggling.

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How to Politically Condition a Generation

clock work orange

Some insights from The Rape of the Mind.
Devin Foley | November 10, 2015

With all of the intolerance of “offensive” speech and ideas, it’s worth considering what could be happening. Is it all just to create a better society or are we being coerced into a certain mindset?

Sure, what’s going on is not on the level of some of the tyrannies of the 20th century or fictions such as Clockwork Orange, nonetheless the tactics seem eerily similar.

In The Rape of the Mind, Joost Meerloo points out that:

“…he who dictates and formulates the words and phrases we use, he who is master of the press and radio, is master of the mind.”

And who today dictates and formulates the words and phrases we use? Usually, those that matter originate in our universities and institutions of higher learning. They then trickle down through society as those who were embedded with the new words and phrases make their way through society and eventually into positions of leadership. It is the long march through institutions to bring about cultural and then political change.

As more and more individuals have been imprinted with the new way of looking at the world, the more the new thinking permeates the culture and pushes out dissenting views:

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U.S. Conservatives Outnumber Liberals by Narrowing Margin


by Lydia Saad


36% of Americans now conservative, 25% liberal
Liberal figure has inched up from 17% in 1990s
Conservatives mainly steady, while moderates decline

PRINCETON, N.J. — Many more Americans have considered themselves politically conservative than liberal since the early 1990s. That remained the case in 2016, when an average of 36% of U.S. adults throughout the year identified themselves as conservative and 25% as liberal. Yet that 11-percentage-point margin is half of what it was at its peak in 1996 and is down from 14 points only two years ago.

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This Labor Day, let’s acknowledge why our job-creation machine is broken


Published: Sept 2, 2016 2:38 p.m. ET

It’s Labor Day weekend, and despite unemployment under 5% and nearly 15 million private-sector jobs created since February 2010, nobody’s celebrating.

Workforce participation is stuck near historic lows, six million people are part-timers but want to work full time, and wage growth remains subdued.

Both presidential candidates have talked a good game about jobs and the economy, but neither addresses the real problem. The U.S. job-creation machine—once the envy of the world—is broken, because American corporations cannot create steady, well-paying jobs here in the USA while also providing maximal returns to their investors, who are really in charge.

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The Dumbing Down of College Curriculums


Charles Sykes / @SykesCharlie / August 29, 2016

The dumbing down of elementary and secondary education has made its way to the collegiate level; too many unprepared students are admitted despite their inability to do college-level work.


Charles Sykes@SykesCharlie

Charles J. Sykes is senior fellow at the Wisconsin Policy Research Institute and a talk show host at WTMJ radio in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. He has written for The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, and USA Today and is the author of “A Nation of Victims,” “Dumbing Down Our Kids,” “Profscam,” “The Hollow Men,” “The End of Privacy,” and “50 Rules Kids Won’t Learn in School.”

Let’s concede at the outset that many students find their college years enlightening and enriching. But something is rotten in the state of academia, and it is increasingly hard not to notice.

There once was a time when employers could be reasonably certain that college graduates had a basic sense of the world and, as a minimum, could write a coherent business letter. That is simply no longer the case, as some academic leaders appear ready to admit.

Harvard’s former president, Derek Bok, mildly broke ranks with the academic cheerleaders when he noted that, for all their many benefits, colleges and universities “accomplish far less for their students than they should.” Too many graduates, he admitted, leave school with the coveted and expensive credential “without being able to write well enough to satisfy employers … [or] reason clearly or perform competently in analyzing complex, nontechnical problems.”

Bok noted that few undergraduates can understand or speak a foreign language; most never take courses in quantitative reasoning or acquire “the knowledge needed to be a reasonably informed citizen in a democracy.” Despite the massive spending on the infrastructure of higher education, he conceded, it was not at all clear that students actually learned any more than they did 50 years ago.

This knowledge deficit has been a long time coming.

Indeed, a recent survey of the nation’s top-ranked public universities by the American Council of Trustees and Alumni found that only nine of them required an economics course for graduation; just five required a survey course in American history; and only 10 required that students take a literature course. Despite the lip service given to “multiculturalism” on campus, the study found that: “Fewer than half required even intermediate study of a foreign language.”

This knowledge deficit has been a long time coming.

By 1990, the cost of four years at an elite private college had passed the median price of a house in the United States. But a survey sponsored by the National Endowment for the Humanities in 1989 found that a majority of college seniors would flunk even a basic test on Western cultural and historical literacy: 25 percent could not distinguish between the thoughts of Karl Marx and the United States Constitution (or between the words of Winston Churchill and those of Joseph Stalin), 58 percent did not know Shakespeare wrote “The Tempest,” and 42 percent could not place the Civil War in the correct half-century.

Most seniors were unable to identify the Magna Carta, Reconstruction, or the Missouri Compromise; they were “clearly unfamiliar” with Jane Austen’s “Pride and Prejudice,” Fyodor Dostoevsky’s “Crime and Punishment,” and Martin Luther King Jr.’s “Letter From a Birmingham Jail.”

The question is no longer whether students have learned specific bodies of knowledge; it is whether they are learning anything at all.

These concerns now seem almost—quaint. The fact that college students had huge gaps in their knowledge was old news by the early 1990s. But today the question is no longer whether students have learned specific bodies of knowledge; it is whether they are learning anything at all.

>>Purchase Charles Sykes’ Book: “Fail U.: The False Promise of Higher Education“

In their widely cited book “Academically Adrift,” Richard Arum and Josipa Roksa concluded that 45 percent of students “did not demonstrate any significant improvement in learning” during their first two years of college. More than a third (36 percent) “did not demonstrate any significant improvement in learning over four years of college.”

Traditionally, the authors wrote, “teaching students to think critically and communicate effectively” have been claimed as the “principal goals” of higher education. But “commitment to these skills appears more a matter of principle than practice,” Arum and Roksa found.

“An astounding proportion of students are progressing through higher education today without measurable gains in general skills,” they wrote. “While they may be acquiring subject-specific knowledge, or greater self-awareness on their journeys through college, many students are not improving their skills in critical thinking, complex reasoning, and writing.”

But those are precisely the skills that employers increasingly expect from college graduates. A 2013 survey of employers on behalf of the Association of American Colleges and Universities found that 93 percent of employers say that a demonstrated capacity to think critically, communicate clearly, and solve complex problems is more important than a candidate’s undergraduate major.

More than three-quarters of the prospective employers of new college graduates said they wanted colleges to put more emphasis on such basic skills as “critical thinking, complex problem solving, written and oral communication, and applied knowledge.”

Trashing the Curriculum

So how could we spend so much for so little? The most obvious answer is that colleges and universities frankly don’t care whether students learn much of anything.

Once again, Harvard’s Bok is willing to admit that administrators have few incentives to worry about something as irrelevant as student achievement because student learning can’t be monetized and doesn’t do anything to advance academic careers. “After all,” he writes, “success in increasing student learning is seldom rewarded, and its benefits are usually hard to demonstrate, far more so than success in lifting the SAT scores of the entering class or in raising the money to build new laboratories or libraries.”

The dumbing down of elementary and secondary education has made its way to the collegiate level.

There are, of course, other factors at work. The dumbing down of elementary and secondary education has made its way to the collegiate level; too many unprepared students are admitted despite their inability to do college-level work. Nearly four out of 10 college faculty now agree with the statement “Most of the students I teach lack the basic skills for college-level work.” This inevitably contributes to the flight from teaching (few professors want to teach remedial courses) and the overall lowering of standards.

This general indifference to what, if anything, students learn is embodied in the modern curriculum that enables students to study just about anything, without necessarily learning much at all.

This is an excerpt from “Fail U.: The False Promise of Higher Education” by Charles Sykes. Copyright © 2016 by the author and reprinted with permission of St. Martin’s Press, LLC.

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Working Paradise Venezuela’s new decree: Forced farm work for citizens

Venezuela meltdown

Venezuela’s new decree: Forced farm work for citizens

by Patrick Gillespie, Rafael Romo and Osmary Hernandez   @CNNMoney

A new decree by Venezuela’s government could make its citizens work on farms to tackle the country’s severe food shortages.

That “effectively amounts to forced labor,” according to Amnesty International, which derided the decree as “unlawful.”

In a vaguely-worded decree, Venezuelan officials indicated that public and private sector employees could be forced to work in the country’s fields for at least 60-day periods, which may be extended “if circumstances merit.”

“Trying to tackle Venezuela’s severe food shortages by forcing people to work the fields is like trying to fix a broken leg with a band aid,” Erika Guevara Rosas, Americas’ Director at Amnesty International, said in a statement.

President Nicolas Maduro is using his executive powers to declare a state of economic emergency. By using a decree, he can legally circumvent Venezuela’s opposition-led National Assembly — the Congress — which is staunchly against all of Maduro’s actions.

According to the decree from July 22, workers would still be paid their normal salary by the government and they can’t be fired from their actual job.